Guenther Steiner says that Kevin Magnussen wanted to retire the car in Turkey due to a lack of visibility caused by dirty mirrors.
Magnussen endured a difficult race at Istanbul Park. He was running in P10 early in the race, but any chance of scoring points disappeared when his team released him without securing a wheel-nut when pitting him and had to pull him back in.
He spent the rest of the Turkish Grand Prix at the back of the field being lapped by the leaders and struggled to see them due to dirty mirrors.
Because of this, he wanted to retire the car, according to the Haas team principal.
“The difficulty was he couldn’t see to the back, because of the mirrors,” said Steiner to Autosport.com.
“I think they were dirty and with all the spray you cannot see anything in the rear. And being in the middle with blue flags is very difficult if you don’t see in the back, and he didn’t want to hurt anybody’s race or do anything which then is deemed having done something wrong.
“He started to say that about 12 laps to go. And in a race like this, you never know if in the front there is mayhem happening in a group of five or six cars.
All of a sudden you can unlap yourself, and it’s like a difficult decision because then you really look stupid if you withdrew a car. And he was fast.”
Look at the state of the mirrors after the Turkish Grand Prix 😲
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) November 16, 2020
Ultimately the decision to keep him out until the end of the race was decided once Lance Stroll was the next car behind, as Magnussen had enough pace to stay ahead of him.
“Once the group of the leaders went by, with Stroll he was pretty well in control. We monitored the time and said nobody’s coming for 10 seconds at least, and he kept the 10 seconds up,” he added.
“So we decided to keep him out there, and the car was going good. I mean, the chances of an opportunity were very small, but you cannot just give up.
“And we understood that he is struggling, but we knew also that for a while nobody will be coming behind him, so let’s get on with it.
“For sure for him it’s frustrating, but we spoke with him afterwards and explained the situation to him.”